The stupid fucking barking dogs. Incessantly, always barking. They begin at about seven every morning. Must be when they’re let out of the house. They walk out the door and down the steps to the front gate and just stand there and bark without ever stopping even for one second. Bark bark bark. Bark bark bark. And of course, there are fifteen other houses on the street with multiple loud, unruly dogs, who all join in a chorus of bark bark bark, bark bark bark. But these two, this neurotic border collie mix and his little white terrier buddy— the smaller dog, as is often the case, often seeming like the boss— these two are the instigators. These are the guys who will bark at anything, must bark at everything. If you are in doubt about whether you should bark at something, you better bark at it.
Anyway, they start barking at seven a.m., which means their owner, a spinsterish 45 year old woman, must know that they do this. She must at least hear it on her way to the car, if not from the house as she prepares her bowel-cleansing yogurt and granola. These dogs barking impossibly loud. Loud enough to wake my entire apartment complex two doors down and certainly the other, much larger apartment complex right next door to her with many large windows facing her property. She knows, and she doesn’t give a fuck . One of my neighbors once complained to her and was given the “oh yeah, they’re just territorial.” She was given some very meek, polite version of “these god damn barking dogs are bugging the fuck out of me, ruining every morning, fucking with my sleep; you fuck with my sleep, it fucks with my entire day, every day—“ seriously, have you ever had a great day without having at least seven hours of undisturbed sleep? Never. Anyway, she was given that, and came back with a “well, they’re just that way.” At face value, this means that she thinks that she has no hand at all in the way her dogs behave. That they’re not pliable obedient creatures bred over tens of thousands of years to be spineless and retarded in the face of commands, to basically see you as the Führer and do exactly what they think you’re telling them. Or that just going out to the thousand acre park behind your fucking house and running the little fuckers around until they’re tired, letting them smell a gopher hole, dig up he corpse of a squirrel— giving them something to think about and look forward to besides looking at the one walled off square of gate, listen for footsteps and then OMIGOD SOMEONE’S WALKING PAST THE HOUSE, A CAR IS DRIVING PAST THE HOUSE OMIGOD: BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK— they are not “just territorial.” They are like this because of you. That fucking border collie could probably do calculus if you taught him; there are sheep farmers in Scotland who have a whole goddamn sign language with these dogs where they can flick their pinky and the thing will steer 500 sheep precisely 30 degrees to the left— it’s not that they’re “just territorial,” it’s that you want to have a dog in your leathery old age where no man will come near you but you don’t want to do the work to make sure the dog has adequate shit going on in his life where he won’t just scream his head off and turn around over and over in a compact circle whenever a leaf falls off the tree across the street.
But that’s not what she really meant anyway, that they’re just like that. What she meant was: fuck off. Because basically, people who live near other people, when they choose to get a dog— what they are really saying is: I do not give one single fuck about the people around me. Someone who gets a dog in a densely populated city and does not take great care to follow the exact instructions of Cesar Millan and run that fucker around for hours every day and show him who is fucking boss and learn how to make him shut the fuck up, someone who is not fastidious about picking up the beast’s shit, who does not immediately punish the animal for snarling and threatening people— remember, we are talking about city dogs here, not some cur chained to your lot full of cars in Alabama to guard your gas— someone who does these things does not give a fuck at all about other human beings. And I get that some people feel the same way about kids, you know, but if your kid ran up and punched someone in the nuts you would fucking discipline him. Well your fucking dog is kicking me in the nuts of my mind with his god damn seven in the morning barking.
Anyway. Once in a while I go over there and dump a five gallon bucket of water on them. No lemon juice in a squirt gun to the eyes or anything cruel, you know, but just toss a bucket on ‘em and they run like hell, and shut up for a while. And I’m not going to lie, I enjoy seeing them wet, cowed and terrified. It’s horrible, but you know— they’re dicks, and they fucking deserve it.